Alfa Romeo Stelvio 2022 review

Find out more about the Alfa Romeo Stelvio in the latest MOTORS Review

£31,585
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2
Out of 5

Pros

  • Stunning design
  • Great to drive
  • Good engines

Cons

  • Firm ride
  • Interior quality can’t match some rivals
  • Not the most practical car in its class
Model review

Alfa Romeo has a rich history of sporting models, so it came as quite a shock when it was confirmed that the brand would be launching its first SUV. This is a market segment that was and remains impossible for manufacturers to ignore due to the vast number of buyers wanting a high-riding model, and it was too lucrative for Alfa to ignore as well. 

Originally debuting in sporty Quadrifoglio trim in 2016, the Stelvio uses the excellent Giorgio underpinnings of the brand’s Giulia saloon, and combines that with a high-riding and larger body style, but keeping that focus on sportiness. A wide range of petrol and diesel engines were offered, with Q4 all-wheel drive being included on many. 

The Stelvio would go on sale in 2017, with the first customer cars arriving later in the year. The Quadrifoglio model would follow in production form a year later.

Latest model

Alfa Romeo hasn’t massively changed the Stelvio since its launch, though the main differences came in 2020 as part of model-year improvements. As part of this, the Stelvio – alongside the Giulia – introduced a new infotainment system that was easier to use, while Alfa Romeo worked to improve the quality of the interior with new materials and a redesigned layout. 

Other changes included the addition of various new driver assistance features offering level 2 semi-autonomous driving ability, along with a redesigned trim structure. 

Since then, Alfa Romeo has been taken over by a huge automotive group called Stellantis, with its new CEO saving costs by reducing the number of trim levels and personalisation available. 

Value for money

Alfa Romeo has really ramped up the price of the Stelvio since its launch in 2017, as back then you could pick up a new version of this SUV for £34,000 – today, a new Stelvio costs more than £45,000. There’s no weak engine in the range, while standard equipment is very generous – including 19-inch alloy wheels, adaptive cruise control and keyless entry. The Quadrifoglio commands quite a premium, with prices starting from £75,000, but once you experience the fun and performance, it actually doesn’t look all that expensive. 

Used Stelvios have held their value better than many expected, with no versions available for under £20,000 at the time of writing. You would be looking for upwards of £25,000 for a tidy, low-mileage and high-spec version, too. 

Looks and image

Established premium car makers like Audi, BMW and Mercedes absolutely dominate the mid-size SUV market, which is why the Stelvio appeals so much if you fancy something a bit different. It’s also arguably the best-looking car in this class, with its cool Alfa Romeo styling cues – including its triangular-shaped grille – really helping set it apart, while large exhaust exits and a sleek profile make it look particularly purposeful. 

Alfa Romeo certainly improved the Stelvio’s interior as part of the 2020 update, with the model feeling far more pleasant than before – as versions before this had some particularly cheap-feeling plastics. While the quality is now largely good, it still doesn’t feel as upmarket as German rivals, while the technology lags behind a bit too. 

One area where the Stelvio certainly doesn’t lag, though, is when it comes to the way it drives. For an SUV, it really is superb, feeling far more agile, nimble and fun than you’d expect. It’s helped by a great range of engines and a superb eight-speed automatic gearbox, while things are taken up a notch in the case of the sensational Quadrifoglio version that is without doubt one of the best performance SUVs on the market. 

Video review

Space and practicality

If you want a roomy Alfa Romeo, the Stelvio is possibly the best car this brand has ever made in that respect. Offering enough room for four adults (five is just a bit of a push), it’s a car that makes a great family car.

It’s competitive with many in this class, but there are roomier rivals available – not least the Land Rover Discovery Sport, which is available with an additional two chairs to make it a seven-seater. The boot of the Stelvio measures 525 litres, or 1,600 with the rear seats folded.

Engines

Starting with the standard Stelvio, Alfa Romeo offers plenty of engine choice. In terms of diesel, a 2.2-litre turbocharged unit is available with the choice of 187bhp or 207bhp, which are able to sprint to 60mph in 7.4 seconds and 6.4 seconds respectively. 

If you’d prefer a petrol, Alfa Romeo offers a turbocharged 2.0-litre petrol unit, which comes in 197bhp and 276bhp outputs. The former is able to hit 60mph in seven seconds, with the more powerful version managing it in just 5.5 seconds. 

As for the sportier Quadrifoglio, this uses a superb 2.9-litre turbocharged V6 engine that pushes out a significant 503bhp. This is able to take the Stelvio to 60mph in just 3.6 seconds, while where permitted could hit a top speed of 176mph. 

It’s worth noting that all Stelvios come with an eight-speed automatic gearbox, and the vast majority of examples you’ll see for sale are all-wheel-drive, though rear-wheel-drive was briefly offered in the past.

Running costs

Unlike many rivals, the Stelvio isn’t available with a hybrid option – meaning running costs will be steeper. If you want an Alfa that is cheaper to run, choose the diesel, which is able to return up to a claimed 44.8mpg, with CO2 emissions ranging between 156 and 166g/km. The 2.0-litre petrol models will struggle to hit 30mpg too in everyday driving. Meanwhile the Quadrifoglio will only return a claimed 24.6mpg. 

It will likely prove quite pricey to insure, too, with groups ranging from 30 in the 187bhp diesel to 50 for the flagship Quardifoglio.

Things to look out for

Historically Alfa Romeos haven’t had the best reputation for reliability, but its latest models seem to be performing far better, with no major issues known so far. As with any used car purchase, though, it’s worth checking everything works as it should, and that it has a comprehensive maintenance record. 

Rivals

The Alfa Romeo Stelvio faces some tough competition, not least from the Audi Q5, BMW X3 and Mercedes GLC, while if you prioritise that sporty driving experience, you should look at the Jaguar F-Pace and Porsche Macan

If comfort is more of a focus, both the Volvo XC60 and Lexus NX are deserving of your attention. If you want seven seats, look at the Land Rover Discovery Sport

Depreciation

The Stelvio is one of Alfa Romeo’s most desirable models in recent years, and that is really helping to keep prices high. Good savings are available by shopping used, with the core German brands likely to hold their value that bit better. 

Trims explained

Alfa Romeo has offered a range of trim levels on the Stelvio, but here we’re focusing on the most recent models. Equipment highlights and prices are as follows.

Sprint –

Kicking off the modern Stelvio range is the Sprint, which comes with loads of equipment – including 19-inch alloy wheels, a wireless smartphone charging pad, adaptive cruise control, keyless entry and Bi-Xenon headlights. You also get a reversing camera, front and rear parking sensors, black brake callipers, a sports leather steering wheel and 8.8-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, as well as satellite navigation.

From £45,299

Veloce -

Upgrading to the Veloce brings larger 20-inch alloy wheels, along with a heated steering wheel, sports leather seats and a limited slip differential to maximise handling ability.

From £50,099

Quadrifoglio –

With the Quadrifoglio, you’re predominantly paying for its more powerful 2.9-litre V6 engine, but you also get a Harman Kardon sound system, 20-inch alloy wheels, a Monster brake system and sportier styling, including darkened lights and a dark gloss grille. You also get various bits of carbon-fibre trim, a leather and Alcantara sports steering wheel, an electric boot and electric front seats.

From £74,999

Summary

  1. Alfa Romeo’s first SUV
  2. Stunning design
  3. Superb to drive
  4. Great engines
  5. Quadrifoglio performance model is truly exemplary
  6. Generous standard equipment
  7. A bit expensive to buy new
  8. Practical, but some rivals offer more space
  9. Interior quality could be improved further
  10. One of the best cars Alfa Romeo has made in modern times